Parada 24 – Calle Bolivar & Calle Del Parque
This area used to be one of the largest concentrations of movie theaters, shopping and nightlife, since the trolley made a turn toward Condado and Ocean Park along Calle del Parque.
It seems strange that there is no park near Calle del Parque, but it is the old trolley route used to go to Parque Borinquen – a huge beach, park and recreational facility which was eventually developed as the Ocean Park neighborhood. The trolley was doing good business during the week, but loosing money on weekends – so the trolley company built the park and created demand for their transportation on weekends – making the turn from Ponce de Leon Avenue toward the ocean on ‘Calle del Parque’.
Today, the neighborhood is still a little rough around the edges since much of the planned redevelopment was stalled with the economic downturn… but this has left lots of opportunity for new businesses to move in and mix arts with business.
Here you’ll find adventurous improv and experimental theaters and arts/performances spaces that may feature poetry slams one night and disco the next. Hipster cafes feature events from jazz, circus arts, monologues, to film festivals and intimate performances known locally as ‘bohemias’… Semi-private museums and galleries don’t advertise regular hours – but are open by appointment if you call. Private recording studios are hidden in obscure storefronts. Art Galleries pop up in storefronts, lofts and apartments. If you stop by one of the many restaurants, you may share a table with a rising raeggetón star, actor or avant grade artist – so don’t be afraid to make new friends!
Tourists always compare this area with Williamsburg, Brooklyn – but we like to think we’re uniquely SANTURCE!
If you’re looking for ’emerging art scene’ – this is the place for you!
How to get to Stop 24:
- Condado – Find the DoubleTree Hotel in “Downtown Condado” and follow Calle Loiza one block to Calle del Parque where you’ll see a restaurant called Bebo’s. Turn right onto Calle del Parque and walk up the hill, across the highway and past the parking lot of San Jorge Children’s Hospital. You’ll find the Architect’s Association building, a new mosaics studio, ballet fashion boutique and then arrive to Ponce de León. 30 min.
You can also take the M21 bus in the direction of Tren Urbano and get off at Calle del Parque and Fernandez Juncos in front of La Respuesta and JAB Fabrics – but service is very infrequent and the route is rather circuitous so it can take up to 30 minutes.
- Isla Verde – Take the T5 bus in the direction of Old San Juan. When you see Bebo’s Restaurant, get off the bus and walk up Calle del Parque to Ponce de Leon. 20-25 minutes.
- Old San Juan – Take the M3 Metrobus and get off at the stop after First Bank and Arriví Theater – opposite Cobians Plaza. 15 minutes.